Skip to main content

Hyderabad encounter a 'ploy' to shut down demand for accountability from police

Counterview Desk
The All-India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA), in a statement signed by Rati Rao, AIPWA president, Meena Tiwari, general secretary, and Kavita Krishnan, secretary, has said that the Hyderabad fake encounter has all the hallmarks of a custodial murder, insisting, "A system that offers murder as 'justice' is a system that is telling women -- we can't ensure the streets are safe, can't investigate crimes against women to ensure there's enough evidence to prove guilt, can't protect rape survivors."

Text:

The four suspects in the Hyderabad rape and murder case have been killed by the police in an early morning "encounter". This "encounter" has all the hallmarks of a custodial murder, dressed up to look like an "encounter".
Since the suspects were in police custody, and thus unarmed, it is clear that the police is lying when it claims they were killed when "attacking the police" at the crime scene where they had been taken to "recreate" the events of the night the rape-murder occurred.
We, as a country, will now be told that "justice" has been done, the victim avenged. And now we can all go back to business as usual, reassured that our police, our government, our society are righteous, and the evil rapists are no more.
But this justice is counterfeit. A system that offers murder as "justice" is a system that is telling women -- we can't ensure the streets are safe, can't investigate crimes against women to ensure there's enough evidence to prove guilt, can't protect rape survivors (one was burnt alive yesterday in UP), can't ensure that survivors get dignity in Court. All they can do is act like a lynch mob and ask us, the people, to accept lynching as the only possible justice.
We must also remember that these four men were suspects. We do not know if there was a shred of evidence proving their guilt, beyond the custodial confessions which police in India routinely obtain through torture. Torture does not reveal truth. Tortured men will say anything the torturers want to hear. So we do not even know whether the four men killed are really the ones who raped and killed the doctor in Hyderabad.
The same Hyderabad police which mocked the desperate attempts of the victim's parents to find their daughter, which is issuing "Dos and Donts for women", i.e telling women to stay home after 8 pm because the police can't/won't do their job of keeping streets safe, is now telling us to believe they caught and "punished" the rapists, and acted as Judge, jury and executioner. This is a cruel joke.
Women's movement groups will be the first to say -- this is not justice. This is a ploy to shut down our demand for accountability from the police, judiciary, governments, and justice and dignity for women. Instead of being accountable to his job and answering our questions about his Government's failures to safeguard women's rights, the Telangana CM and his police have acted as leaders of a lynch mob.
For those arguing this kind of custodial killing is a "deterrent", think again. The Hyderabad and Telangana police are notorious for this kind of custodial murder. In 2008, the Hyderabad police committed the custodial murder of three men accused in an acid attack case. That murder didn't deter crimes against women in Hyderabad, Telangana, or India. Acid attacks, rapes, murders of women continue to happen with impunity.
A police force that can kill with impunity, no questions asked, can also rape and kill women, confident that no questions will be asked
We demand a thorough investigation into the alleged "encounter". The police personnel responsible must be arrested and prosecuted, and must be asked to prove in court that all four men were killed in self defence.
Why is this important, not only for human rights but for women's rights? Because a police force that can kill with impunity, no questions asked, can also rape and kill women with impunity, confident that no questions will be asked. Remember the case of teenage Meena Khalkho in Chhattisgarh, gang raped and killed by Chhattisgarh police who then dressed up the killing as an encounter, branding Meena a Maoist.
A judicial enquiry found that the encounter was staged to cover up a gang rape and murder by the police. That gang of rapists and killers are yet to face trial, yet to face any kind of justice.
Many TV channels and right-wing social media armies will tell you that we, the women's movement activists, are the enemy because we do not accept custodial murder and lynching as justice.
These channels and armies are the same who defended the rallies held to protect the accused in the Kathua case, the same who defend the Kathua rapists even after they were convicted in a court of law!
They are the same who brand the complainant in the CJI Gogoi sexual harassment case as a liar, the same who slut-shame JNU and Jadavpur women students who complain of sexual harassment, the same who defend the gang rape accused MLA Kuldeep Sengar.
We, activists of the women's movement, continue to demand substantive justice for women. We want the police to do its job, and protect women's rights, not act as Judge and executioner.
We do not want a mythical "collective conscience" appeased by the murder of men the police declares to be rapists. We want society's conscience to change and be more respectful and supportive of women complainants in rape and sexual harassment cases, and more alert and active in rejecting victim blaming and rape culture.

Comments

Fully agree with the statement

TRENDING

What's behind public sector banks showing huge profits in 2nd quarter of 2022-23?

By Thomas Franco*  The quarter two results of the public sector banks (PSBs) appear to be noteworthy compared to a few years ago. All these banks showed good profits in the financial year 2021-22. Twelve PSBs made a net profit of Rs 25,685 crore in quarter 2 of FY23 and a total of Rs 40,991 crore in the first half of 2023. The combined profit of 12 banks in March 2022 was Rs 66,539 crore which was 110% more than 2021 – Rs. 31,816 crore. The Asset Quality Review of 2015 saw a surge in NPAs of PSBs jumping to Rs 8.96 lakh crore in March 2018 from Rs 2.17 lakh crore in March 2014. This was simply because the norms for NPAs were changed from 180 days to 90 days, and all restructuring of even genuine accounts was done away with. In 2018 NPA of SBI was 5.73% which has come down to 0.8% in Q2 of FY23. The NPA of Canara Bank has come down to 2.19% from 7.48% in Mar 2018. The same trend is seen in all public banks. Now SBI has seen a jump of 74% in its net profit, while Canara Bank’s profit is

World Toilet Day 2022: Will new schemes usher in safe cities for India's sanitation workers?

By Sameer Unhale, Dr Simi Mehta, Dr Arjun Kumar, Kushagra Khatri*  World Toilet Day is held every year on November 19. It has been an annual United Nations observance since 2013, which celebrates toilets and raises awareness of the 3.6 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation. It is about taking action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: Water and Sanitation for All. The SDG 6.2 is the world’s promise to ensure safe toilets for all by 2030. This year, the theme is "Let’s make the invisible visible." India, in its endeavour to achieve health, hygiene, and cleanliness along with universal sanitation coverage, launched the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) (SBM-U) or Clean India Mission in 2014 on the birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation – Mahatma Gandhi (October 2), as a national movement. To ameliorate urban sanitation infrastructure, the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (A

Odisha dolphin tourism victim of climate change, prawn farming, infra projects

By Sudhansu R Das*  Nature has blessed Odisha with a vibrant natural sector economy. The forestry, handicraft, handloom, fishery, agriculture, animal husbandry, tourism, pilgrim tourism and horticulture sectors etc can create huge employment and revenue in the state on a sustainable basis. The state needs to develop a sound economic vision to harness the benefits from the natural sectors. Construction of infrastructure projects with investment though generates revenue and ticks the GDP growth; there is no guarantee that it would create inclusive employment opportunities. Today infrastructure projects are like consumer items which are being marketed by middlemen and global traders across the world. Many countries have been ruined due to their obsession with infrastructure driven growth illusion. Recently, the Sri Lankan economy has collapsed due to this illusion. It has created a heavy loan burden on the country whose interest the country can’t repay in the next 50 years. Many infra

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Business back to normal? IIM-A survey says, sales expectations have sharply improved

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management’s Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES), which polls a panel of business leaders to find out their perception of slack in economy, including their inflation expectations, year-ahead cost expectations and the factors influencing price changes, such as profit and sales levels, etc., has said that the cost perceptions data indicates signs of moderation in price pressures. Carried out for September, the survey says, the cost pressure of the reporting firms has shifted from “very significant increase (over 6%) to moderate increase (3.1% to 6%).” It adds, “The percentage of firms perceiving over 10% cost increase y-o-y has declined. Over 21% of the firms in September 2022 round of the survey perceive that costs have increased very significantly (over 10%) – down from 26% recorded in August 2022.” Claiming to be a unique survey, in that it goes straight to businesses -- the price setters -- rather than to consumers or household

Innovative, Hrishikesh Mukherjee's movies often banked on excessive sentimentalism

By Harsh Thakor*  Late Hrishikesh Mukherjee more popularly known as Hrishi Da, whose birth centenary was celebrated recently, ranks amongst India’s most progressive and innovative film makers, exhibiting mastery in craft of making socially relevant themes. Mukherjee knitted plots together with great visualisation and sensitivity, be it in comedy, pathos, anger or romance, weaving every ingredient in proper proportion.  Melodrama was restrained and scripts dissected with surgical skill. Without over romanticisation, Mukherjee would do complete justice to the role of the character. He did not champion art films, but gave commercial films an artistic touch. Rarely have artists transcended the medium of cinema to project the real essence of their cultural values so or film directors who narrate a simple tale of regular families that have characters of unique shades, characters which are bound to touch human emotions universally. His characters frequently underwent life-changing journeys

GoI's productivity linked incentives to corporates 'without independent analysis'

Counterview Desk  Wondering how prudent is the Government of India's (GoI's) Productivity Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, EAS Sarma, former secretary, GoI, in a representation to Nirmala Sitharaman, Union finance minister, has said it appears to be nothing more than subsidy to the private sector without any responsibility. Giving a specific example against the backdrop of announcement of 50% subsidy covering the project cost of the Vedanta Group's decision to set up a semiconductor fabrication plant in Gujarat, in collaboration with Foxconn, Sarma says, "The total cost of this project is reported to be Rs 1,54,000 crore. 50% of this works out to Rs 77,000 crore." Stating that this creates the impression that the entire subsidy allocation for the semiconductor manufacturing sector would be appropriated by this company, Sarma says, "The Gujarat government did not lag behind in liberally announcing similar incentives for the Vedanta-Foxconn project. It offered 7

Parivarnama: A story of love, challenges, sorrow of family 'devastated' by Partition

By Aditya Mukherjee*  “Parivarnama” by Shehla Hashmi Grewal is a riveting account of a family of Delhi from the late 19th century to the present. Through the story of this family, we are taken on a journey through the atrocities of British rule and the resistance against it by the Indian national movement and the left stream within it, the traumatic events leading to the virulent spread of religious communalism and the partition of the country and the destruction of lives and livelihoods, the challenges and travails of building a new life after the old was destroyed, trying to build a secular society in India after independence, the struggles for social and economic justice in independent India leading to the martyrdom of a very distinguished young member of the family and much more. It is not only a very sensitively written history of a family, it is a social and political history of India through some of its most turbulent periods. “Parivarnama” combines what one gets from meaningfu

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.